If you’re looking for a story about a good, humble girl, who’s been hurt by someone she thought she could trust, only to find out she’s not as vulnerable as she thought she was and discovers an empowering side of herself that falls in love with the guy who helps her find that self, blah, blah, blah…then you’re gonna’ hate my story.
Because mine is not the story you read every time you bend back the cover of the latest trend novel. It’s not the “I can do anything, now that I’ve found you/I’m misunderstood but one day you’ll find me irresistible because of it” tale. Why? Because, if I was being honest with you, I’m a complete witch. There’s nothing redeeming about me. I’m a friend using, drug abusing, sex addict from Los Angeles. I’m every girlfriend’s worst nightmare and every boy’s fantasy.
I’m Sophie Price…And this is the story about how I went from the world’s most envied girl to the girl no one wanted around and why I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world.
This is so much more than a romance novel. It’s a lesson and an eye opener.
Meet Sophie Price.
Her parents are impossibly rich. She lives a life of opulence, fashion, debauchery and reckless abandon.
I ruled because I was the hottest. You see, I’m one of the beautiful people.
The most important decision she needs to make each day are which Chanel number to wear to her father’s pompous business dinners or which friends’ boyfriend to steal and use for her own sexual gratification this week.
Every want I fulfilled and every desire was quenched. I wanted for nothing. Except attention.
She is spoilt, self centred, vile, spiteful and closed minded. But more than anything else, she’s unloved. Her parents ignore her and leave her to her own devices, uncaring of the damages she is inflicting upon herself, unless of course they impact on the family public image. It’s all about appearances.
“I gave myself no boundaries. If I wanted to sleep with a boy, I did. If I wanted to try a drug, I did. If I wanted to drink to the point of excess.”
My goal in life was to rule my tiny, elite world, so I did.
Yet another brush with the law lands Sophie in court and consequently sees her whisked off to Africa, to serve her sentence helping at an orphanage as punishment. And that’s where everything changes…
“How do we break the cycle?”
Sophie finds out who she really is, what really matters in life and that there is more to the world than couture and cocaine. A world without makeup and straightening irons. A world where you can’t hide behind beauty products and glittering jewellery. Stripped bare, outside and in. The real you. And finally, a chance of happiness.
That girl was the real me. Frightened. Worthless. A terrible friend. Terrible daughter. Well educated but so limited in ideas worth having. Beautiful yet repulsive…
And finally honest.
This is a story of self discovery.
“Your heart is startlingly beautiful, Sophie.”
Of learning how to love and how to be loved. Of how to be thankful when you seemingly have nothing to be thankful for. And of how selflessness is more rewarding than selfishness. About learning how to break the cycle.
Men wanted me. They all did, however briefly, but none of them wanted to keep me. That’s what I needed. I needed to be owned, loved. But not by a man. I knew then that I never needed to be kept by a man. What I needed was to love myself, to want to keep myself around.
And then Sophie meets Dingane. And the walls she’s erected crumble. Her stoic mask slips and she finds herself feeling for the first time. Feeling sadness, empathy, happiness, love and that feeling in your belly when a man you crave is near…
“It was like my body knew instantly that he was mine and I was his.”
The love story in Vain is pure and beautiful.
Understanding. I was in love with Ian Aberdeen. So deeply, so incredibly. And it was true and it was sublime and it was mine.
Nothing could take that away from me and that was absolutely freeing to me. I owned that love. I chose it. I owed no one for it because it couldn’t have been purchased. It belonged to me free and clear. I had never felt more empowered.
To find love in a place of such devastation is magical. Both Dingane and Sophie have sordid pasts and I love the fact that they find solace in one another in and in the work they do at the orphanage.
“The truth is, I’m so deep in love with you, I can’t see straight. The truth is, I’ve been afraid to admit it to myself, let alone you. The truth is, I’m terrified.”
“You’ve arrested my senses and I can’t seem to get enough of you. That’s what scares me. I’m so deep there’s no getting out for me. You own me, you know?”
The sexual tension is delicious. There is a shower scene in this book that is even more scrummy than if they were ripping at each others clothes. It’s tasteful and innocent and this made me love it even more.
“My God, he’s the one who gets all the girls? What? Is he made out of chocolate or something? I can’t imagine anyone would be interested in anyone else but you, no matter who you’re pitted against.”
Ian tugged me closer and kissed my neck. “No need to flatter me, Miss Price. I believe your bait worked. I’m hooked. Line and sinker.”
My only criticism was the ending. But then there is that saying, ‘If a book is well written, I always find it too short.’ And I can’t decide whether this is one of those situations, or whether the ending was a little abrupt. But it’s a minor point and the rest of the book more than makes up for it.
“It’ll be all right,” Ian assured me,
“How do you know?” I asked when he revved the engine.
“I don’t,” he said, “but I’ll protect you.”
I shed quite a few tears reading Vain, it taps into every emotion you own. It pulls no punches and Fisher Amelie writes a brave, real story of the darkest and lightest that life has to offer. Read it. You won’t be disappointed.
I just have one more thing to add. Please go to http://invisiblechildren.com/ and find out more about the LRA and Joseph Kony if you don’t know already.
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